It’s summertime, which means a lot of the stresses and pressures of the school year are off! Sleeping in, going on trips, more treats…anything goes on summer vacation! While your schedule might be more relaxed, keeping up with essentials like your braces is crucial to your health and the success of your treatment. Remember what the end goal is of having your braces: a beautiful, straight, new smile. When you do what’s necessary to take care of them, regardless of whether you are on vacation or on a summer staycation, you’ll be rewarded with the smile you are waiting for. Here are some tips to help you care for your braces on summer vacation:

  • Don’t forget your toothbrush and floss – It’s easy to get out of certain routines throughout summer break and especially on trips, but it’s important that flossing and brushing stay consistent.  When you get out of these habits, it can be easy to continue putting them off; the result won’t be pretty. Avoid discoloration, plaque buildup, and other issues by being diligent about brushing and flossing.  Also, the more consistent you are, the easier it will be to clean and the less time it will take! 
  • Keep your braces essentials with you – When you’re preparing to head out of town, don’t forget any extra essentials parts – like elastic bands, orthodontic wax, etc. – required for your particular appliance/care plan.  Consider getting a container that keeps all your care items and parts together so that it’s easy to grab and pack. Many drug store chains sell ‘braces survival kits’ which can be quite handy for pokey wires or out-of-town orthodontic breakage situations.
  • Think ahead about your meal options – Chances are you’ll have a lot of the same options that are available to you in your day-to-day diet and life.  However, it’s a good idea to consider where you are going and what foods are going to be easy to access – especially if you’re going to a new place with exotic foods you haven’t tried yet.  Use the same litmus test you use on your typically go-to’s: avoid sticky, hard, starchy foods and you’ll be just fine! 
  • Check in with your orthodontist – You never know what kind of wisdom your orthodontist may have before you head out of town.  From tips and tricks to extra tools or resources that would be helpful for your trip away, consulting with your orthodontist about your plans is a great way to feel confident about caring about your braces while you’re gone.  

Don’t let the care or presence of your braces get in the way of enjoying a great vacation; be prepared to take care of them just as you would while at home on a structured schedule. You’ll find it’s much easier than you think!